The Board of Pensions helps support ministers and employees of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in all aspects of their lives: spiritual, health, financial, and vocational.
This agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) traces its roots to the Fund for Pious Uses, established in 1717 in Philadelphia to care for ministers and their families. As it looked to a future of growth, adding benefits and programs to help the Church and its affiliated employers care for more ministers and employees, the Board of Pensions faced a pivotal moment in its brand: How to honor both its longstanding traditions and its innovative vision in a way that felt relevant to those it serves today and those it might serve in the future.
When we met with the Board of Pensions team, they wanted our help in repositioning the agency as a provider of high-quality benefits — including a medical plan, death and disability coverage, a pension plan, retirement savings plan, and numerous other options as well as an array of educational offerings — while honoring their vital role in the Church. The solutions we created and implemented include a refreshed and expanded master identity/logo system with related identities for sub-brands; a brand style guide; a new value proposition statement; a messaging guide covering general and audience/program messaging, as well as tone, voice, and content creation; marketing collateral including various program brochures; PowerPoint and e-newsletter templates; and a collection of icons that represent their values and offerings across multiple applications.
A series of workshops and interviews with their leadership team and key stakeholders provided us with deep insight on the communication and branding issues that they were facing, as well as the aspirations they had for each of the respective projects. One of the key challenges was ensuring that the solutions were relevant to everyone, from congregations and their ministers and employees to affiliated colleges and universities, retirement centers, and more. It was also important that the Board of Pensions brand maintain its likeness to that of the other five PC(USA) agencies.
In approaching the project as a whole, as well as its individual parts, our design goals were to first establish a recognizable identity by building a hierarchical “branded house” — rather than a “house of brands” — to make an emotional connection, both to those the Board currently serves and those it might serve, and to communicate across all mediums with more clarity.
While the creation of a wide-ranging group of deliverables runs an inherent risk of disconnected outcomes, diligent internal oversight and frequent client check-ins ensured that we successfully remained true to the unified brand strategy and messaging guidelines that we created, all of which can now be applied to any initiative going forward with consistent results. We look forward to continuing to work with the Board of Pensions, and we appreciate their eagerness to embrace innovation as they move into the future.